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waking up with pain

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:19 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
I am 5 weeks post microdiscectomy L4 L5 and for the past few weeks I have been waking up early in the mornings with terrible soreness/pain in my soas muscles. Its so bad that i'm back on my pain meds. We have a new mattress, so I'm thinking that in the middle of the night i'm twisting and turning. Any advice how to manage morning pains or good sleeping positions? I hate relying on the pain meds.


  • Del,

    First of all I understand not wanting to be on pain pills but honestly don't push yourself. If you need them use them. You are only 5 weeks out. What I did to sleep was have a large, very firm pillow under my legs right where my knees bend. Then I laid on my back. Alot of times I could not get comfortable in bed because it was not firm enough and did not feel good. The couch and I became best friends and we are still close six months out.
  • Thanks Jro, i just went to wally world and bought a memory foam bed topper, i'm hoping this will help. I just may end up on the couch myself :)
  • I am still waking up very sore and tight! It takes about 1/2 hour to actually wake up and get up and moving sometimes I actually have some crackers and a drink next to the bed and take my pain pills when I first open my eyes just so I can get up and moving! Don't feel bad about still needing meds ;)
  • Are you able to have PT yet? It feels like you need to get some stretches in your quads and Psoas muscle before bed. If you can get to a Physio, they can give you some gentle exercises.
    It could also be worth trying to get a muscle relaxant from your Dr. You can have that before sleeping to stop the muscles seizing up during the night.
    Blessings Sara
  • I am finding out slowly that less is more. The less propping of the legs and head, the less pain.
    Do some stretches, pelvic tilts and bridges before trying to get out of bed. BREATHE!!
    Don't suffer. Take pain meds when you feel you need them.
    I use a heating pad sitting in a chair in the morning. 10 minutes of heat gets the bed flowing too.
  • That's my sucky William Shatner improv. I wake up and everyone else at 4 in horrible pain, and I must have the meds ready to locate, so everyone can sleep once more.
    That's just how it is. It should get better over a while. I can't tell you when, b/c when I had my micro for L4-5 herniation at the time, it did nothing for me. Now I'm about 3 weeks post TLIF/laminectomy for a mess of other things. I've been so frustrated that most words begin with F.
    I'm sorry. I hope your pain improves so you can get back to the things you love.

    PS I broke my wrist post op
  • I am sure to take a muscle relaxant before I go to bed. If I forget then I pay for it when I wake up. I also use a body pillow. I hug it basicly. It helps me keep everything in line.

    Take care!

  • You're still pretty early on... you will still be in pain, and especially at "O dark thirty". I kept my pain meds and water next to my bed for about 16 weeks. I had a three level fusion. I think it was around my 8th week post-op that I asked for some ambien to help me sleep. So I would take a percocet, ambien and 1/2 valium just before bed. I positioned pillows everywhere for comfort, and kept a rolled up towell at the nape of my lumbar. It was the only thing that helped. It was HORRIBLE. I use to hate the thought of going to bed just due to knowing I was going to wake up in so much pain. So at around 4am I would take another perc. and go back to sleep.

    But you are still pretty early on. Ask your doc for some sleeping aide, and pillows, lots and lots of pillows... good luck, and IT DOES get better. I am now at 21 weeks, and still take a pain pill before bed, and one when I wake up.
  • I am almost 6 weeks post op from L5/S1 fusion with decompression and I suffered EVERY night until 2 weeks ago when I ordered a "Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow" online. :) It has made all the difference in the world. You can sleep on your side and still have back support---I LOVE IT! :) I can actually sleep through the night---I was having the same problem with dreading going to bed! It was awful! I still take half of a Lorcet plus at bedtime and 1/2 when I wake up in them morning but I can at least get restful sleep now. If you have trouble finding one, let me know. It was about 50.00 with but it's worth EVERY PENNY! 8)

    Good Luck!
  • I too wake up in the middle of the night, but with tightness in my back the major problem. I occasionally have back spasms when I wake up also, usually lasting just a few seconds, but I remember when I was two weeks out and had terrible spasms one night so I get out of bed when I feel that coming on and sleep in a chair. I have to have a firm mattress and I wear silky shorts to make it easy to change positions. I thought it was getting better, until I went on vacation for two weeks and had a terrible soft bed. I have been back home for two days and like when I was away, wake up in the middle of the night and go to the chair to sleep. Of course, I have to move very slowy when I wake up also trying to avoid the muscle spasms.
  • But I am six months out endoscopic microdiscectomy L3/L4 and I still have lots of problems getting out of bed in the morning. I had most of my disc removed and now I am being told that the pain is coming from my facet joints. Muscle relaxers before bed do help but they also make me drowsy the next day. Hope your recovery goes better than mine did. Good luck.
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